Hanging out in Chi-Town

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Last week we had the opportunity of opening our home to some of our very good friends and discovering the city with them. I have known Aruna since our university days and she is one of the only people from that time with whom I stay in contact. Bean still talks about being a flower girl in her wedding. As wonderful as it was to have company, I was really put out by our weather. We had full blown winter weather. While I was fretting, Aruna was happy to dance in the snow.

Because of their visit (she came with her husband) I was able to show off my city. Bean joined us a couple of days as well. I had a list of things that I have been meaning to see and I was able to see almost everything. We went everywhere we could possibly go in three days. We walked for miles and miles, or at least it seemed that way.

I am not a fan of going up tall buildings to look out over the rooftop of other buildings, but Aruna and her husband did it and they enjoyed themselves. We ate some of the best Mexican, Chinese and Italian food. We saw our old and new parks. The newest has amazing slides and swings and other play equipment for children. It was hilarious to see all of the adults out to play while the kids were in school. I might have gone down the biggest slide if the weather wasn’t so rainy.

We went to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the painting American Gothic and the Thorne Rooms, among other things. If it wasn’t so cold, I am sure I would have liked our walk along the Chicago River a bit more. I did see it as one more piece of evidence as to why Chicago is a sister city to Paris though. We went to Navy Pier in hopes of riding the Ferris Wheel, but it is closed for renovation. The revamped areas look great, completely different than last year. This time the line for Garret’s popcorn was the shortest I have ever seen it, so we made sure to get some!

Bean and Aruna share birthdays that are days apart. Bean has been so lucky this year, celebrating her birthday for over a week as people keep wishing her a “Happy Birthday”. Aruna wanted to go to the Zoo and have a picnic like they did when Bean was two. It was so cold that day, we could only eat in the food court and run from building to building to stay warm. I decided to take them to Magnolia Bakery instead.

I have been passing that place for at least two years, imagining occasions when I would stop in with Bean and get something special. I never made it. This time, we went! I would have been happy and content just to look at all of the beautiful cupcakes, cookies and cakes they had. I gave Bean the choice of what she could choose. If only I knew the slice of cake she chose was going to be big enough for three people! Wow.

Now that our friends have gone, the house is considerably quieter. Aruna left us the fortune from her fortune cookie. It said, “One old friend is worth two new friends.” Thanks old friend.

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